I treated today like any other school day.  Over the weekend I thought seriously about introducing a lesson on some aspect of 9-11.  I spent some time on the Internet looking for ideas and did come across an interesting site on public memory and memorials at Facing History.  Late Sunday I decided to stick to my original game plan and just continue with each class where we left off on Friday.  I was worried that focusing on the events of 9-11 would leave me emotionally drained, and I was not prepared to deal with that.  Whether or not this was a good reason I can’t help but feel just a little guilty that I lost an opportunity to do something interesting and meaningful.  I never thought I would use history to hide behind.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

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3 comments… add one
  • Kevin Levin Sep 12, 2006 @ 6:57

    Thanks guys. I really needed to hear that.

  • elementaryhistoryteacher Sep 11, 2006 @ 19:49

    I don’t blame you. Even as my young as my students are they came in this morning talking about all of the things they had watched over the weekend dealing with 9/11. My school had a balloon release to remember the victims so a plan was forced on me. I read them the story I have on my site and used it in our writing class.

    David’s comment is so correct—–all responses are still underway, widely varied, and difficult to examine. Life goes on.

    I know it was not an easy day for your family.

  • David Woodbury Sep 11, 2006 @ 19:27


    I think you made a good decision — it’s not as if your students aren’t already inundated outside the classroom with references to 9/11. I’m sorry to hear about your cousin. Unlike you, I did not lose a family member in 9/11, but this country’s overbearing penchant for observing anniversaries makes me feel strangely detached from the events of that day. Maybe it’s because I cannot stand to watch our president memorialize the thing that became the rationale for all of the tragic, useless deaths and maimings of the past five years (far exceeding the death toll of 9/11), perpetrated in our name.

    We have much to learn from 9/11 — especially, perhaps, by our responses to it — but those responses are still underway, widely varied, and difficult to examine. There’s nothing wrong with business-as-usual in the classroom. Part of the lesson of 9/11 is that life goes on, which is not the same thing as forgetting.


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